Residents of Kibera have vowed to fight any attempts to demolish their houses to pave the way for road construction. They accuse the state of defying a court order.
This follows a notice on Tuesday by National Building Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora asking them to vacate by July 16 to allow for the construction of Ngong - Langata link road.
“Upon the expiry of this notice, any structures or property found on the specified corridor will be demolished or removed from the road reserve at the trespassers’ risk and cost,” Nyakiong’ora said.
In what will likely cause running battles between the police and residents of the country’s biggest slum, the locals, through the Nubian Human Rights Forum, said the planned demolitions are illegal and a violation of their rights.
Chairman Shaffie Ali accused the state of issuing the eviction notice in disregard of a court order.
Resident Samuel Oketch said, “Any attempt to demolish our houses will face stiff resistance. I have stayed here for more than 10 years.”
Kenya Urban Roads Authority chief communications officer John Cheboi said the case ended last year and the court ruled in the state’s favour. He said the residents were found to be staying on a road reserve.
Construction of the Sh2 billion Ngong-Kungu Karumba-Lang’ata link road started in 2014. Cheboi said only 800m of the 2.5km road is incomplete. He said residents are occupy land meant for the road.
“Majority of us are poor. This is our ancestral land.The state should compensate the community. We will fight until we win,” Ali said.
Kibra MP Ken Okoth has petitioned the ministry of Roads to compensate the affected families. But Kura said there was no compensation since the houses are on a road reserve.
“The whole of Kibera is government land. People who have been buying land were out to make money. They are aware it is state property. But we are not concerned about the entire area, we only want 800m to complete the road,” Cheboi said.